The Coconut Wireless by Simon Michael Prior

Book Description

When Simon and Fiona embark on a quest to track down the Queen of Tonga, they have no idea they’ll end up marooned on a desert island 

No idea they’ll encounter an undiscovered tribe, rescue a drowning actress, learn jungle survival from a commando, and attend cultural ceremonies few Westerners have seen. 

As they find out who hooks up, who breaks up, who cracks up, and who throws up, will they fulfil Simon’s ambition to see the queen, or will they be distracted by insomniac chickens, grunting wild piglets, and the easy-going Tongan lifestyle? 

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My Review

I was gifted a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Simon!

The Coconut Wireless is a travel memoir which follows Simon and his girlfriend Fiona’s quest to move to New Zealand via Tonga. Fiona is from New Zealand and her visa has run out at the beginning of the book, meaning she has to leave London, so Simon decides to go along with her. They are able to stop off as many times as they like on the way for no extra charge and decide to visit Hawaii and that Tonga will be perfect for an extended vacation. Simon’s father once saw the Queen of Tonga in England and it made a great impression on both him and his young son, so Simon would now like to try and meet the current Queen of Tonga to keep the family tradition alive.

Written with wry humour, this memoir is a joy to read. Simon and Fiona are positive, upbeat people, who embrace every cultural opportunity offered to them and take unexpected circumstances in their stride without too much complaint – only cold showers are available in Tonga and the cooking facilities at their backpacker resort consist of a microwave alone. The noise of the local dogs and chickens keeps them awake and takes a bit more time to get used to, however! They meet some interesting people during their travels, are charmed by the locals and make some friends along the way. They also visit Tonga’s Stonehenge, Pyramids, and other cultural attractions, snorkel and dive amongst the amazing tropical fish on the coral reef.

Simon cleverly ends each chapter on a cliffhanger which makes this book very difficult to put down!

If you enjoy travel memoirs and are dreaming of visiting tropical islands you will love this book!

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About the Author

Simon insists on inflicting all aspects of life on himself so that his readers can enjoy learning about his latest trip/experience/disaster/emotional breakdown (insert phrase of your choice).

During his extended adolescence, now over forty years long, he has lived on two boats and sunk one of them; sold houses, street signs, Indian food and paper bags for a living; visited almost fifty countries and lived in three; qualified as a scuba diving instructor; nearly killed himself learning to wakeboard; trained as a search and rescue skipper with the Coast Guard, and built his own house without the benefit of an instruction manual.

Simon is as amazed as anyone that the house is still standing, and he now lives in it by the sea with his wife and twin daughters, where he spends his time regurgitating his experiences on paper before he has so many more that he forgets them.

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